What exactly is considered commercial photography? As the name implies, it is using your skill of taking photos for a commercial venture.
Commercial photography is one of the easy ways you can turn a photography hobby into something you can capitalise on, including merchandising, product placement, or advertisements.
Restaurant menus, flyers, leaflets, and brochures are other places you will often see the skill of commercial photographers. One of the best aspects of the commercial photography field is that it is always in demand.
With the many different styles of photography out there, there is plenty of room for newcomers to the field. Whether you work with a traditional, modern, or alternative style, there is enough work out there for all.
Expanding your photography hobby into the commercial sector can be a profitable enterprise. However, it can be tricky to navigate this path successfully in order to convert your hobby into something that can bring in an income. The information here will help get you on the right path.
Creating A Business Plan
You may think that a non-traditional enterprise such as photography doesn’t need a business plan, or that business plans are only necessary for companies with a physical product and team of employees.
While a commercial photography business can be run by a single person, there is always the possibility that you will see enough success that you will want to expand your business and take on more clients and work. This is where having a business plan will really pay off.
Imagine that you are looking to get into the realm of photography for corporate brochures and flyers.
You need to start by figuring out what audience you want to target, then determine how long an average project will take to complete. This will allow you to plan out how much work you can take on and complete without getting overwhelmed and falling behind. Next, you will need to look at how you market your craft.
This is a good video on live experience on how to make money in commercial photography, with a focus on the business model and customer experiance:
Create A Strategy For Marketing Your Business
In the past, most marketing efforts concentrated on ads on television or radio, as well as print advertisements in newspapers and magazines. However, with the rise of the internet as a major social platform, concentrating your efforts towards online marketing will yield a much better return on your investment.
The key is to learn how you can show what you can offer over other photographers and start setting yourself ahead of the pack.
A great place to start is on the major social media platforms, as they allow you to display your work and start communicating with potential clients.
The major social media networks include Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. When it comes to images and photography, your best bets will probably be Instagram and Pinterest as these platforms focus around users posting images.
It is important to remember that any marketing strategy online can only do so much to help if you don’t have a strong traditional networking foundation to build on.
The Importance Of Networking
While marketing your business online is a smart way to draw attention to your work in photography, you will still have to work on your networking skills if you want to convert this attention into sales and income.
While the internet is a powerful tool, people still look to make a real, face-to-face connection with those they are working with.
A good tactic to take here will be to make appointments to meet with different ad agencies, as it will show your dedication and help you stand out from the crowd.
It isn’t always as simple as that, however, with the addition of meeting people, phone calls, and persistence, you will start to reap the rewards eventually.
Another smart tactic is to meet and get to know the other photographers in your local area to learn from their experience and get introduced to the people they know as well. This will enable you to learn first hand what has worked and what doesn’t work in this industry, so you can apply this information to help your business grow.
Don’t Be Afraid To Branch Out
There are lots of different skills involved with commercial photography. Always continue working on your set of skills and adding to the skills you possess in order to expand your reach.
You can learn how to do fashion photography, portraits, product placement, or photographing food for culinary magazines and restaurants.
Create your very own professional commercial photo studio, equipped with the very best cameras and studio lighting to shoot the highest quality images and invite clients to your studio for a day’s shoot.
It is crucial that you keep this in mind right from the beginning, as when your business starts to grow, you will be able to expand the number of services you offer.
Join Photography Social Groups
Another great way to succeed in your commercial photography endeavours is by surrounding yourself with others who have similar goals to you. Since you have this goal in common, you can work together and pool your resources so that everyone has a better chance of success and more opportunities can arise.
When you are just getting started in the commercial photography world, you should join societies of photographers. This will help expand your networking opportunities and often costs little to no money to get started.
It is important to keep in mind that more people in your network means higher chances of a business opportunity coming your way.
Commercial Photography Can Be Profitable
People often start getting into commercial photography as a way to bring in a little bit of extra cash on the weekends, however, if you put in the work, it can be so much more.
Many people can make commercial photography their main source of income, and you can too.